Best Moments from UFC 30-40

Riley Kontek@@BigRIlesMMAFeatured ColumnistSeptember 24, 2012

Best Moments from UFC 30-40

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    We continue with our "Best Moments" series, as we will now examine UFC 30 to 40. 

    This was a period in which Zuffa was in control of the company. This was the turning point, financially, in the history of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

    Here are the best moments from that period.

    Here are the first three installments, with the UFC 1-10 written by Dwight Wakabayashi.

    The Best Moments from UFC 1-10

    The Best Moments from UFC 10-20

    The Best Moments from UFC 20-30

BJ Penn Makes Victorious Debut at UFC 31

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    The legend of BJ Penn in the UFC started at UFC 31 on the preliminary card against Joey Gilbert.

    It wasn't his most memorable performance ever, but it introduced MMA fans at the time to "The Prodigy." The first-round knockout just showed how good Penn had the potential to be.

Matt Serra Runs into Shonie Carter's Spinning Back Fist at UFC 31

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    Matt Serra was making his ascent in the UFC until nine seconds left in his fight with Shonie Carter.

    Serra was likely winning the fight until this point. Carter swang for the fences and hit a home run, if you want to use a baseball analogy.

    It is one of the most spectacular knockouts in UFC history and earned Shonie Carter a cult following. You won't find many spinning back fist knockouts as good as this one.

Carlos Newton Goes School Yard Bully on Pat Miletich to Win Title at UFC 31

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    In the words of Joe Rogan, Carlos Newton used a "schoolyard headlock" in his title challenge against Pat Miletich.

    Not many times in MMA history has a bulldog choke been utilized to win a fight, nonetheless a title fight. But, Newton used just that when defeating and taking the title off of the legendary Miletich in the co-headliner of the card.

BJ Penn Murders Caol Uno at UFC 34

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    Caol Uno only needed to make one mistake in his 11-second loss to BJ Penn at UFC 34. 

    Immediately, Uno ran out of his corner and threw a running, jumping kick. Penn dodged, turned around and blasted Uno with vicious strikes.

    Pinned against the cage and clearly out of it, Uno took a bevy power punches before the referee saved his life.

    It was a highlight-reel BJ Penn performance.

Matt Hughes Slams Carlos Newton at the Buzzer to Take Title at UFC 34

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    If there was ever a "buzzer shot" in mixed martial arts history, it happened at UFC 34 in a welterweight title fight between Carlos Newton and Matt Hughes.

    Newton, known for his submission skills, caught Hughes in a triangle choke that looked to be deep. Hughes, known for his wrestling and strength, picked Newton up as he started to fade.

    Like something out of professional wrestling, Hughes powerbombed Newton into an unconscious state. Hughes was a millisecond away from asphyxiation, so this was a spectacular win for Hughes.

Jens Pulver Beats BJ Penn in Classic Title Fight, Leaves Company at UFC 35

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    In one of the best early-day lightweight rivalries, BJ Penn and Jens Pulver's bad blood started after a razor-thin majority decision Pulver won over Penn at UFC 35.

    It was a back-and-forth fight that was an exciting affair throughout. Many new to the sport remember Pulver as a guy who loses more than wins, but he was a legend in the early going.

    They would renew their rivalry later in their careers after Pulver returned to the UFC following his departure after this fight.

Frank Mir Sends Pete Williams into Retirement at UFC 36

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    Frank Mir is one of the all-time greats in the heavyweight division, and although this wasn't his UFC debut, it is an important win in his career.

    Pete Williams was a very solid fighter in the early UFC. But, this would be his last ever fight as an MMA fighter.

    Mir locked him in a elbow/shoulder lock that put Williams away in under a minute. It was a spectacular finish that gave Mir momentum.

Murilo Bustamante Taps out Matt Lindland Twice in One Fight at UFC 37

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    Controversy reigned supreme in the main event of UFC 37, as "Big" John McCarthy made a controversial decision in the "fight of the double tap."

    Early in the fight, Bustamante caught Lindland an armbar that Lindland appeared to tap out to. Bustamante released the hold as McCarthy screamed to stop the fight.

    After that, Lindland claimed not to tap, and McCarthy controversially restarted the fight. Luckily, Bustamante would submit Lindland again in the third round, this time with a guillotine choke.

    Had he lost, it would have been the most controversial fight in history.

UFC 39: Phil Baroni Is "the Best Eva!"

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    UFC 39 saw the legend of Phil Baroni and his legendary skills come full-circle. 

    Joking aside, Phil Baroni blasted through Dave Menne quickly at UFC 39. It was a brutal knockout that showed off the skill of a young Baroni.

    The most memorable thing was after the fight when Phil Baroni jumped on top of the cage and yelled his infamous, most famous words.

    Watch the video for a laugh.

The Legend of Cabbage's Chin Appears at UFC 39

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    Welsey "Cabbage" Correira undoubtedly has one of the best chins ever, but it was on full display in his UFC 39 showdown with Tim Sylvia. 

    It was Sylvia's debut, and he showed off lethal hands. The only thing more impressive than Sylvia's debut with the company was Correira's ability to take punishment.

    He probably could have lasted the entire fight, but his corner had seen enough at 1:43 of the second round.

    I dare you to try and find a tougher man.

Joe Rogan Becomes Mike Goldbergs Companion at UFC 40

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    Currently, fans associate Mike Goldberg and Joe Rogan together because of their announcing duties together.

    The journey began at UFC 40, when Rogan took over as Goldberg's right hand man. To this day, it still exists.

Chuck Liddell Kicks 'Babalu' in the Head at UFC 40

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    Chuck Liddell is a knockout artist, and with his No.1 contendership on the line at UFC 40, he delivered another highlight.

    Liddell threw a head kick that completely destroyed Renato Sobral midway through the first round. It was just another reason why he was the most feared man in the UFC.

Tito Ortiz Wins Biggest Fight in Company History at UFC 40

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    At the time, UFC 40 played host to the biggest fight in UFC history. Tito Ortiz and rival Ken Shamrock squared off in a heated grudge match that captured the attention of MMA fans and regulars alike.

    Shamrock was past his prime at this point, while Ortiz was in his. The atmosphere was intense and the fight was surreal.

    Eventually, Ortiz would win by a corner stoppage between rounds to retain his title. It was a huge win.

Lee Murray Whoops Tito Ortiz in Alleged Street Fight After UFC 38

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    Watch the video and it speaks for itself.